31 July 2015: University of Waikato to host DEANZ 2016 conference

Hobbit ears, twilight tours and a trip to the Green Dragon Inn are in the mix for the April 17-20 DEANZ 2016 Conference at the University of Waikato. The Faculty of Education won the bid for the DEANZ biennial conference hosting rights and is the first time the conference has come to Hamilton.

DEANZ is the New Zealand organisation dedicated to open, flexible and distance learning. This conference showcases research and practice in open, flexible and distance learning across the compulsory schooling sectors, vocational and tertiary education levels, including industry. The conference theme, There and Back: Charting flexible pathways in open, mobile and distance education, draws inspiration from a Hobbiton-based theme, siting the conference dinner at Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata.

The conference deliberately builds on the Faculty of Education’s history of offering distance and blended teacher education programmes, while also showcasing current research, practice and debates in the field both nationally and internationally. The main conference theme encourages delegates to reflect on, rethink and reimagine open, mobile, flexible and distance learning contexts and how they might link to their own practices.

The conference committee co-convenors, Drs Elaine Khoo and Noeline Wright together with a dedicated team of staff volunteers from the Faculty of Education, have been working hard since the beginning of the year to establish the conference theme, keynotes and programme.

Renowned international speaker and online education expert Indiana University’s Professor Curt Bonk, is a key drawcard as the main keynote address. A second keynote is Faculty of Education colleague Dr Diane Forbes, herself an expert on teaching and learning online. She is joined by a third keynote speaker, FarNet e-principal Carolyn Alexander-Bennett. FarNet is an online portal serving students in remote areas in the far north of the North Island.

The call for abstracts for the conference and early bird registrations have opened. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2015. To submit an abstract and/or to participate in the conference, visit http://conference.deanz.org.nz/